There have been countless instances of filmmakers/actors who have launched their own child in their films. Many films out of these were well-made and even the star-kid turned out to be very talented. For instance, ‘Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai’ (2000) that launched Hrithik Roshan, ‘Bobby’ (1973) that served as Rishi Kapoor’s launch vehicle, ‘Rocky’ (1981) that was Sanjay Dutt’s debut film etc. On the other hand, there have been star-kids that turned out to be miserable in their launch pads, mostly produced or directed by daddy dearest. Many of them don’t see the writing on the wall and keep on making films with their son in the lead in successive films. Suneel Darshan goes the similar path and re-launches his son Shiv Darshan in ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’ after the disastrous ‘Karle Pyar Karle’ (2014).
Natasha (Natasha Fernandez) is all set to get married to her best friend Sunny (Upen Patel). She wishes to get hitched in the family’s ancestral mansion, which recently got free of legal complications. The mansion at one point saw a shocking tragedy happen with Natasha’s maternal grandmother. The moment Natasha sets foot in the palatial home, she feels as if she’s been here before. At the mansion stable, she comes across the caretaker Devdhar (Shiv Darshan). His mysterious persona and his ‘shayaris’ (poetry) attract her instantly. She falls in love with him which saddens Sunny since he loves Natasha deeply.
Bizarre is the only word that comes in mind when asked to describe this film in one word. All the major developments in the plot defy logic and common sense. In our world, when something strange or predictable happens around us, our first instinct is to ask “How did that happen.” Well, that’s not the case in the world in which the film is set. A man comes alive from the dead and on the other hand, a mysterious lover claims to know everything about the girl whom he just met. Yet, the characters in question don’t care to ask “How are you still alive” or “how the hell do you know so much about me”! There’s also a ghost element but it’s treated in a juvenile way. There’s a twist at the interval point that does catch viewers unaware but soon enough, the stupidity takes over and brings the film down. The dialogues are horrible and raise more unintentional laughs. For instance, a man has just killed someone accidentally and the other man tells him in whats-the-big-deal-tone, “Haadse hote rehte hai” (Tragedies do happen). The narrative gets even stranger as the film passes. This tests patience, despite the fact that the film is just 105 minutes long. Another twist is unveiled in the climax and it’s shockingly pathetic. How it got passed by the makers is astonishing.
Shiv Darshan can’t act and this was attested with his debut film itself, ‘Karle Pyar Karle’. Even here, he’s unable to perform despite trying very hard. His expressions are weird in scenes where he’s supposed to cry. Often, when actors mouth ‘shayaris’ (poetry), they are lapped up but the exact opposite when Shiv does it and he mouths too many of them. Newcomer Natasha Fernandez is decent and has potential but goes overboard. If instructed well, she can do fine. Upen Patel does better than the two but even he’s let down by some kiddish dialogues and situations. Rumi Khan (Ramnesh), Lalitmohan Tiwari and Soni Kaur (both play staffpersons of Ramnesh) don’t get much scope.
Nadeem’s (of Nadeem-Shravan’s fame) music is very beautiful and melodious and is what saves the film from getting a complete zero. But the execution and script itself is so disappointing that even songs can’t do much. “Tum Kahaan The” has a very catchy tune and will linger in our minds for a long time. “Aankhon Mein Aansoo” is a touching track and is very well written. It would have made a solid impact if it was used in some other film in a better situation. “Nain” and “Hue Bechain” come next followed by the title song. “Hanste Hanste” is wasted and was needlessly forced. Rohit Kulkarni’s background is dramatic. The location is breathtaking. Firoze Shakir and Divya Puri’s costumes are quite stylish and appealing, especially the ones worn by Natasha. Suneel Darshan’s story is confusing and senseless. Screenplay (Suneel Darshan, Akash Deep) is faulty and messes up things even more. Kushal Ved Bakshi and Uddeept Gaur’s dialogues are neither funny nor sharp. The ‘shayaris’ (poetry) get on the nerves after a point. Suneel Darshan’s direction is at his worst. He was never the best of directors but still he has given some decent films. But with ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’, he shockingly goes wrong almost everywhere, except thankfully the music. Continuity issues are there which can be easily noticeable. Natasha is seen riding a tourist car – it’s rear number plate is in yellow. But few seconds, we realize that the front number plate is in white – and it’s shown in such a way that anybody can notice.
On the whole, ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’ is one of the worst films you will see in your life. It’s an ideal film for all star kids and their daddies to understand how not to make a film or how not to get launched/re-launched. Watching this film will make you respect another much ridiculed star son, Jackky Bhagnani. At least his films were watchable and at least he can act!